Those of you studying string instruments – or simply fans of string quartet music – might like to know of this free gig by the Edinburgh Quartet this Friday at 21:00. Details here. Music by Henry Purcell and Nigel Osborne.
Details here of seminars, concerts etc.
New dates for rehearsals, concerts, exams have been added to the Dates for your Diary page.
New info has been posted here about recommended clip-on tuners and strings. I would thoroughly recommend everyone in a school guitar group to get a clip-on tuner as it enables you to tune in a noisy environment – like a school concert.
I would also recommend getting new strings (well) in advance of exams and concerts – especially the East Lothian Showcase Concert (Brunton Hall, Wednesady 13 March)
New play-along midi files for Knox, MGS, NBHS and ELGE have been posted on the Guitar Group Midis page.
Staff and students currently scaling the steep learning curve from Sibelius 6 to 7 may find some cheer in the wealth of YouTube tutorials in existence. A simple search revealed the following:
Here is the first one on that list:
Thanks to David Gilmour for getting this blog back from the void. There’ll be play-along midi files before you know it
I always look forward to notification of a new YouTube upload by Smalin aka Stephen Malinowski. I’ve linked to several here before but this one is a cracker and features:
- his uniquely colourful system for portraying pitch and duration
- the option to watch in 3D – with the right specs
- mention of the following musical concepts:
- augmentation – doubling the length of notes in the theme
- diminution – halving the length of notes in the theme
- inversion – turning the theme upside-down; as he explains the M-shape becomes a W-shape
- if you watch the hands closely you’ll also see ‘finger substitution’ – where a finger, which is keeping a note down, is ‘relieved’ by another so that it can move on to its next job; the complexity of the music comes through here as many of the notes are effectively being played twice
This is a time of year I enjoy greatly – and not only because the opportunity to bolster one of Europe’s sun-drenched but struggling economies approaches. There are performances aplenty. In the secondary sector there was MGS Summer Concert – and then a smaller contingent of the Guitar Ensemble played at the MGS Prize Giving last night. It always amazes me how the smaller group (8 members) sounds louder than the full ensemble (20+) – there’s a psychology/physics PhD in there, I’m sure.
In the purely primary zone, there are two nights of Annie at Wallyford PS. My colleague, Ewan Armstong, is the MD for this and puts in the spade work over many weeks. I simply swan in with a bass guitar on the night(s) and join in. On a personal level, this is one of the year’s most enjoyable musical challenges. There is no written part. The trick is to watch what Ewan is playing and decide, on the hoof, the best thing to compliment it. While it’s important that young people grasp the value of rehearsal – of preparing the music as carefully as possible – I think it’s also important for those hoping to pursue the art, that they see other ways of operating – some of which are thrust upon us from time to time. The closing night is this evening. If it’s anything like the miraculous opening night then it will be great.
My final visit to Campie for this session ended with a concert by guitarists in P5-P7 for the P4s – from whose ranks next year’s guitarists will emerge. I was really thrilled by this event. The pupils played excellently and we were able to squeeze in a few more courageous soloists than was the case during the school’s Musical Evening a couple of weeks earlier. Especially promising was the rapt attention of the P4 pupils and their intelligent questions and observations.
Transition is often where the fun is. Pupils from Campie PS and Wallyford PS joined the MGS Guitar Ensemble in the Summer Concert. Tomorrow, former pupils from Wallyford – currently at MGS – will visit the school to join with departing P7s in a performance at the Leavers’ Assembly. I’m always touched by the affectionate regard in which the pupils hold their former school, and with the warm reception they receive from their former teachers. It really is the best way to end the year and helps keep a sense of the big picture.
Have an excellent summer, one and all!
Last night saw the return of Campie’s Musical Evening, where guitarists perform in addition to brass, recorders and choir. Many thanks to Danny, my ‘recording engineer volunteer’. The guitarists played a mixture of group pieces and solos – ranging in age group from P5-P7. Our guest, Louise – a former pupil, now in S3 – also played a solo.
Here is the guitarists’ programme:
03 Daniel – Patapan (featuring Daniel’s introduction in French “Je voudrais jouer Patapan”)
05 Dylan – Spanish Dance (featuring Dylan’s introduction in Spanish, “Querría tocar Danza Española”)
06 Group – Polish Dance (featuring Daniel counting in the group, in Polish, “Jeden, dwa, trzy, cztery”